5 Exercises to Target Cellulite on Thighs

There are few dreaded c-words that are more cringeworthy than cellulite. It is often described as a dimpled, “cottage cheese-like” appearance of fat in the thighs and buttocks (but may also surface in upper body areas).

Though it’s a fairly common (and harmless) skin occurrence in adolescent and adult women, your cellulite may leave you feeling less than confident about baring your legs this season. Albeit, there aren’t any moves that can magically spot-treat cellulite, there are effective lower-body exercises that can firm the muscles underneath it to tone and smooth its appearance.

Squats with calf raises

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Stand with feet hip-width apart, arms outstretched. Lower your body, bending your knees and hips until your thighs are parallel to the floor.

Come back to starting position and stand with your weight shifted onto the balls of your feet. Slowly lower your heels back down.

That’s one rep. Aim for 15 reps.

Toe taps

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Lie on your mat with arms at your sides and both knees raised at a 90-degree angle. Your thighs should be perpendicular to the floor. Slowly and gently tap your left toes to the floor and then your right.

Alternate tapping for one minute. If you feel any lower back pain, discontinue or avoid bringing your toes all the way down.

Step-ups

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Start with both feet on a step bench or an elevated, sturdy platform. Step off the back with your right foot while keeping your left foot planted on the step bench until the right foot touches the floor.

Press up with your left foot to bring the right foot up again.

Repeat for one set and switch legs.

Leg circles

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This exercise may require some balance, so if yours is a bit compromised, feel free to hold onto a chair or a wall.

Stand with your hands at your waist, shoulders relaxed and core engaged.

Lift your right foot about knee-high and draw an imaginary circle in the air.

Complete 10-12 circles and repeat on the opposite side.

Clamshell exercise

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Lie on the left side of your body on a comfortable mat or blanket. Support your head with your left hand and place your right hand across your body. Stack your bent knees so that your feet are behind you.

While keeping the feet together, lift your left knee up to open. Pause, and then slowly lower your left knee back down to “close”. That completes one rep.

Repeat for three sets of 10 reps per side.

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